Category: Herd health

Watching for ‘Cow Signals’ is time well spent

Every time a cow takes a lame step or stands for a long period of time she’s sending a signal. Farmers who read those signals and respond with efforts to improve cow comfort are rewarded with increased cow longevity and more profit in their pocket. That’s the return on investing in Cow Signals, according to Agribrands… Read more »

Canadian Dairy XPO Attendance Tops 16,000

Dairy producers from across Canada and around the world helped the Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX) establish a record attendance earlier this month. Overall, attendance at the Stratford, Ont., dairy industry trade show surpassed 16,000, breaking the attendance record of 14,900, set last year. Those are huge numbers considering there are about 15,000 dairy farms in… Read more »

Global Innovation Touches Down at Canadian Dairy XPO April 5 and 6

The Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX) returns for its fifth year at the Stratford Rotary Complex April 5 & 6. This year the show coincides with the Spring Discovery Show in Ancaster (April 3 to 6) and the National Holstein Convention in Markham (April 5 to 8). With three national dairy events happening in southwestern Ontario during… Read more »

Mobile Microscope Tests Dairy Somatic Cell Count

A new mobile app from Newmarket, Ontario-based Dairy Quality Inc. is turning iPhones and iPods into microscopes for dairy farmers. The company’s new Dairy Health Check device includes milk sampling slides that plug directly into the phone. This, combined with somatic cells count (SCC) and ketosis testing apps that analyze the samples, turn the phone… Read more »

International Technology Touches Down At Canadian Dairy XPO

News of the growth and success of the Canadian Dairy XPO helped attract a number of international companies to the Stratford, Ontario industry showcase. CDX, which for 2016 moved from its traditional February dates to April 6 and 7, attracted 14,900 visitors over two days. Farmers visiting the new WeCover Cow Coliseum discovered a hub… Read more »

Inside A Cow’s Udder

Dairy farmers are all too familiar with the external signs of mastitis – from swollen quarters to excessive heat and hardening of the udder wall. At the 2016 Canadian Dairy XPO, Alltech Canada’s Dr. Roger Scaletti performed a tissue analysis of an udder to give producers an inside look at where milk comes from and… Read more »

Dairy Farmers of Canada Launch proAction Sustainability Initiative

The Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) officially launched their sustainability initiative this week in Ottawa. The initiative, called proAction, includes national standards for milk quality, food safety, animal care, traceability, biosecurity and the environment. It’s a way to showcase what the industry’s strengths, while also encouraging constant progress and improvement. “As dairy farmers, we are… Read more »

Do Your Holsteins Suffer from “Fat Cow Syndrome?” Research Suggests Lower-than-Conventional BCS at Calving

Body condition scoring (BCS) is not a new tool to the livestock industry, by any stretch, but like so many other management indicators, it continues to evolve. In the last decade, researchers have learned that cows have a genetically determined “set point,” something they refer to as “Target BCS.” According to research conducted in 2007… Read more »

Feeding Flax to Reduce Pregnancy Losses in Dairy Cows

Flax could have an important role in improving reproductive performance in dairy cattle. Research studies looking at including flax oil in dairy rations in Alberta, BC and Oregon showed “mixed results, but in all three studies we found reductions in pregnancy losses,” explains Divakar Ambrose in the interview below. Ambrose, a dairy research scientist with… Read more »

New Cow Coliseum Ready For 2016 Canadian Dairy XPO

They’ve built it, now it’s time to come. With the 2016 Canadian Dairy XPO just two weeks away, show organizers are getting ready to unveil the new WeCover Cow Coliseum and pedestrian bridge that will connect the building to the Stratford Rotary Complex. The steel bridge will carry the more than 15,000 visitors expected to… Read more »

Align Your Dairy Robot System With Your Goals

Cows aren’t the only creatures that need to be trained to use a dairy robot. The value a dairy farm gets out of an automated system depends on all the people involved knowing how to utilize the machine’s capabilities. “That robot is doing nothing more than milking your cows,” explains Ben Smink of Lely North America… Read more »

Dairy Robots — 25 Years Later

North America’s first dairy milk robot was installed in 1999, less than 50 kilometres from Jack Rodenburg’s Woodstock, Ontario office. The long-time OMAFRA dairy specialist was sceptical at first, but he quickly realized that robot technology could revolutionize Canadian dairy farms. He says early models had their issues, but he quickly realized the potential for… Read more »

Assessing Dairy Cow Body Condition Score Remotely — And Why it Matters

How often do you assess a dairy cow’s body condition score? Sure, you’re looking at your cows everyday, but changes like weight loss can go unnoticed exactly because you see them every day — the change may be too subtle to pick up on. Why would you want to be assessing and recording body condition… Read more »

CowSignals: What Bessy’s Body Language Can Tell You

Cattle will give you signals as to their health and well-being, says director-owner of CowSignals Training Company, Joep Driessen. Driessen was one of this year’s Canadian Dairy Xpo speakers, where he hosted a Robot Feeding Signals workshop. In it, and in an interview with Bernard Tobin, he emphasized the importance of good food and rest by comparing dairy… Read more »

What Does Johne’s Prevention Look Like on Your Farm?

Could Johne’s disease be lurking in your dairy or beef herd? It very well could be, and you’d potentially never know it, or most of your herd could be infected before you have a positive test. The same can be said for beef herds, so those of you with all types of cattle need to… Read more »